Trevali suspends operations at Caribou Mine until further notice

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Trevali Mining Corporation says it has made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily suspend operations at the Caribou Mine near Bathurst.

The company says the deteriorated global zinc market, exacerbated by challenged presented by COVID-19 combined with high concentrate treatment charges have resulted in Caribou being uneconomic at this time.

Trevali says a care and maintenance program is being put into effect at the mine immediately and adds its operations centre in Bathust will continue to serve its global mine portfolio.

President and CEO Ricus Grimbeek says the decision to hit pause on Caribou is in no way a reflection of the quality of its team or operating conditions in the province.

He says efforts will be made to maximize value and reduce the overall cost structure at the mine.

Grimbeek says the decision wasn't made lightly and that transition assistance as well as severance will be provided to the affected workforce.

In addition to enhanced severance and extending benefits,  Vice President of Investor Relations Brendan Creaney says the company is extending access to the employee family assistance program as well as providing one-on-one transition services from a local human resources consulting company.

He says approximately 250 unionized and non-unionized employees and 80 contractors are being laid off, representing at least 90 per cent of Caribou's work-force.

Creaney says some workers will secure the mine and its infrastructure over the coming weeks, and that a limited team will carry out a maintenance program on an ongoing basis.

There's no timeline for when operations will resume.